I'm a sucker for a chihuahua
In the Belém district, Lisbon, Portugal. March 2013.

Last week, I noticed a dear friend linked here and realized how much time elapsed and how I should do something about that. I decided to save my next post for the one-year mark.

One year ago today, I was deep in preparation for a potential move to London. We were waiting on visas and approvals and getting lives in order to step away from Seattle for 6 months. I feared all that work would be for naught and braced myself for disappointment, but I shouldn’t have. Everything panned out as hoped.

Actually, better than hoped — I fell completely head over heels in love with London. Before we left, I thought it would be just another big city and I’d get my fill, have an adventure, and we’d be done with it. I intended to cover it online, but early on, realized I wanted to devote less time to sitting behind a screen and more time taking advantage of the good luck to be there. I saw it as the Study Abroad experience I pined for as a young adult, but never got to have in college. I set out to make myself an expert and explore everything. My strategy worked out. I’ve never been as content with where I was living and what I was doing on a daily basis. With just C & I in our tiny yet mind-boggingly expensive flat, I felt at home. I never took for granted that my local bus took me past Whitehall, Westminster, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, straight to Trafalgar Square. I remember walking the 3 blocks home from Pimlico station one blustery London January day, fighting the wind but realizing how alive my mind finally felt and how happy I was, just existing. In a January, in London! There was no S.A.D. this Winter. It was a charmed time and I’m grateful I was able to be appreciative while the getting was good.

*clap* *clap*
In Camden Locks Market. It made me want to drop my bags and clap. I should’ve bought this, as I never saw it again.

With our visas finished and work projects handled, we returned to Seattle on Easter Sunday. I’m totally upfront about this: I fretted & braced myself to come down from that high. Resettlement went easier than I expected thanks to good friends. Mother Nature seriously cooperated with Seattle this year, making up for all those prior cold & lame Summers. Well done, PacNW. You’re alright.

Sometimes, an image will float by and I feel like I miss England like someone cut a piece out of my heart. But if I learned nothing else there, it’s that there will always be London. And like life in general, there will probably never be enough time there for me. So, I’m just getting on with it.

I don't know how I feel about this fortune. More details, please.

This August finds me in another stage of preparation — we are expecting a baby girl in early December. Just like last year, I’m full of lists and plans and looking around at how I can take advantage of remaining free time and how I can prepare for change. This hasn’t been without a few speed bumps. (The day after a hospital visit, I took the fortune picture just above this paragraph. I was not sure what to make of it.) But we can talk about that later.

I miss writing online, outside of social media. While I suspect the ship has sailed for blogging styles of the past, at least, the parts I’ve loved in the past — I haven’t closed the book completely yet. In the last 18 months, I’ve experienced so many adventures. I have had a ball. I flip through photos on my hard drive, tracking down tips to pass along to friends traveling to places I’ve been, and I get excited all over again. I still can’t believe I’ve been able to see so much. I still want to share it somewhere, where I’m not limited to 140 characters or sketchy FB user agreements. I hope to pull it off somehow. I hope some friends will stick around while I muddle through the creative process.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve been well.

 

9 Responses to Where was I?

  1. sprizee says:

    I was really enjoying reading this, and then it went and made me cry. But it was a happy cry so I suppose I won’t hold that against you. Love this and love you.

  2. Celeste says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you here. I come by often, hoping, and to see a new post is wonderful.

    I’m with you, love, in all your creative endeavors. Heck, in all your endeavors. I’m with you. I hope YOU are doing well.

  3. Geraldine says:

    I am so glad that I (in some teeny tiny way) helped you find your way back here. I can’t wait to read more of your stories, and I miss you dearly.

    Molasses cookies? Soon?

  4. Wendy says:

    And I appreciate your tips! Great post & best in the next installment!

  5. Misty says:

    Beautiful writing! Is the beauty of travel that it allows us to live completely in the moment? To never take any of those moments for granted? And what is it, I ask rhetorically, about London that makes it so special and magical, more magical than other big cities? I’d be curious to hear from you how this differed for you from your RTW trip.

  6. Matthew says:

    I look forward to photos from your next big trip, and the stories that go along with them. Very happy for you :)

  7. Rachel says:

    Apparently, I broke nested comment replies in a recent WordPress update, so I will comment all in one:

    Sprizee, ♥! Thank you!

    Celeste, Thank you for the encouragement! I need to start up the habit again.

    Geraldine, YES to molasses cookies. Or any cookies. I’m easy to please with carbohydrates these days. Also, I am happy to give you credit for returning here.

    Wendy, I hope you and D had a great time in Seville! I love that town. When I was writing up that tapas email to you a few weeks ago, I had so much fun it seemed a shame I wasn’t doing that more often.

    Matthew, thank you!

    Misty, I think that the RTW trip was definitely a help in appreciating my situation in London. A part of me thinks I needed the first trip to get me in the swing of the 2nd trip. It certainly helped with packing when we went over and limiting myself to the minimalist essentials. Both trips were full of movement that required a good long rest afterwards, though the RTW trip definitely needed more endurance. Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to give some future insight into what made both experiences amazing.

  8. Rosh says:

    Hi, I wasn’t sure how to contact you so I’m leaving a comment, I hope this is OK.

    I’m writing to see if you would interested in a pair of comp tickets to The Seattle Blind Cafe, concert, sensory tasting and blind awareness event that’s happening in the pitch dark this weekend, thur – Sat. Sept. 12th – 14th.

    http://theblindcafe.com/seattle-blind-cafe/

    Would ask that you write a little something before the event to help with spreading the word, i.e your expectations etc. and then after the event.

    We have extra comp tickets for bloggers like yourself anyone of the nights.

    Hope you can make it and join myself and 100 other people in a pitch dark surrounded by dark choc, good food and friends,

    Thanks ~Rosh
    theblindcafe@gmail.com
    720 495 7797

  9. Rachel says:

    Thank you for the invitation! We just got back from France, so very much readjusting to this time zone at the moment. It’s an intriguing idea! I hope it went well for the group.

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